Grapes are sourced from a group of growers farming on the characteristic lean pink granites and reddish shale loams of the Canberra District. The wines are hand made for balance, character and depth of flavour. Fruit is vinified near Collector, on the southern tablelands of New South Wales. Collector Wines has been named Best New Winery in the 2009 Penguin Australian Wine Awards, and rated a 5 star winery in James Halliday's 2010 Australian Wine Companion. Collector Wines 2005 Marked Tree Red was awarded the NSW Wine of the Year for 2007. The 2008 Collector Reserve Shiraz was awarded four trophies including the Dr Gilbert Phillips Memorial Perpetual Trophy for Best Red Wine of Show at the 2010 Macquarie Group Sydney Royal Wine Show.
Two wines made from Canberra District shiraz are produced by Collector Wines. Made from mature shiraz vines grown at Kyeema, on an elevated granite saddle near Murrumbateman, Collector Reserve is beautifully ripe, and combines the intensity and vibrancy with spice, perfume and elegant structure that this vineyard consistently gives. Showing plenty of youthful charm now, this wine will be at its best at between five to fifteen years of age.
"Canberra local Alex McKay is among the new wave of winemakers influencing the style and direction of the wines we will be drinking in the future. His ’08 Reserve shiraz is a striking example. Elegant and pure, the hallmark of this wine is its delicious red-berry fruit and savoury, dry finish. It’s Old World complexity with New World fruit, and the combination is a success!" -Canberra Times
The Marked Tree Red comprises hand worked parcels of shiraz from vineyards in and around Murrumbateman. The mix of granite and shale soils produce fruit which is both perfumed and elegantly structured as well as savoury, textured and rich. The individual parcels are fermented, pressed gently, and matured in new and seasoned French oak prior to blending. A lively crimson colour is accompanied by a fragrant bouquet of dark cherry, blackberry, pepper and aniseed, with a rich, textured mouthfeel.
Although weighted for early drinking, Collector's Marked Tree Hill has a sturdy spine and will age gracefully. "Alex McKay has a pretty low profile but the wines from his small enterprise at Collector, near Canberra, are among the region’s best. He makes a Reserve shiraz from one plot and this Marked Tree shiraz from various other vineyards in the district. The Marked Tree may be his second wine but its quality puts it in the top league!" -The Age Epicure